In keeping with the previous post today, I thought I’d share this quite cool internet radio station that I found today, called Christmas Vinyl, When Music Was Music, where the only music is Christmas related fare recorded on vinyl. I have to say that I sort of love the somewhat cranky implication that music released on vinyl, and in vinyl’s heyday is better than more recent music. There is something to be said for classics and tradition and sticklerhood.
Beyond that, this station, Christmas Vinyl is really cool for mixing all sorts of vinyl recordings of Christmas songs from Burl Ives (!) to jazz artists like Bing Crosby or Ella Fitzgerald to lesser known, session & pop singers, as well as instrumentals and choral works. Basically, if a Christmas song was recorded on vinyl? They’re up for playing it over there. The site itself Christmas Vinyl is only able to handle 500 listeners at a time, but! Fear not. I actually found the site via Shoutcast.com Radio, and they’re listener capacity is much larger. Just search for “Christmas Vinyl” in Shoutcast.com’s search box when you click here. If you do listen to Christmas Vinyl‘s stream from their website, you get an accurate current and upcoming track listing that’s pretty handy too. Also, it’s really nice when you can hear little noises that you only get with vinyl. Very warm and cozy.
I’m listening to a lovely recording of Louis Armstrong singing “Christmas Night In Harlem” and not only does it give the phrase “all lit up like a Christmas Tree” an added meaning, it’s the jam.
Click for All Songs Considered
It’s a good time!
If you read my blog even semi-regularly, you know that I am a fan of the NPR music show All Songs Considered. And while I don’t get to listen to every single show, you may consider me curating their offerings for you when I post about a show here on my blog.
Christmas and holiday music is something so ubiquitous as to almost be a joke. Either the crushingly sweet songs that you come to expect are blaring at you from all directions from retail stores from Thanksgiving (or sooner, ugh) until practically New Year’s, or the “ironic” or what I call trashy Christmas & holiday music is thrust out like some sort of cure to the overly sentimental traditional offerings. (It’s not.)
However, look, the reality is that we all grew up with the experience of music switching from whatever is on the radio to a slew of holiday cheer for a few special weeks a year. I still get nostalgic thinking about that inexplicably special day when the Christmas music vinyl records would come out of the catalogue my parents had and the hours that I would pour over their cover art and listen so closely to each note. From the Harry Simeone Chorale “The Little Drummer Boy” collection, to the slightly weird and awesome Victoriana throwback “A Music Box Christmas” by Rita Ford. Or the parade of hits from the 1940’s – 1980’s that would fill my neighbor’s house for 2 or 3 days at a time, day & night while 3 generations of women made dozens of types of cookies creating a bounty of literally hundreds and hundreds of treats for us all.
Somehow, while being able to laugh at ridiculous songs as well as collecting some really great tunes, the All Songs Considered Holiday Music mix isn’t smarmy or ironic or jackassed. (Have I told you that I am completely sick of and over irony as a statement? I am. It’s boring. Knock it off.) It’s just good, fun, and yes, ready? Jolly.
There. I said it. I’m listening to it right now as I write this, and I’m recommending it to all of you. Enjoy , Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Click here to listen to the All Songs Considered Holiday Music Mix ’09.
My favorite childhood Christmas album cover art.